24/02/2011

Suspended Prison Term For Fraudster

Nine people were convicted of benefit fraud at Belfast Magistrates' court this week for claiming benefits they were not entitled to - with one handed a jail term.

Colin McGookin (52) of Sheringhurst Park, Belfast claimed Income Support, Incapacity Benefit and Disability Living Allowance totalling £25,168 while failing to declare employment.

He was given a six-month prison sentence (suspended for two years) and ordered to pay court costs of £140.

Diane Orr (27) of Boundary Street, Belfast claimed Jobseekers Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £4,808 while failing to declare employment. She was fined £300 and ordered to pay court costs of £34.

Alison Courtney (55) of Berlin Street, Belfast claimed Income Support, Housing Benefit and Carers Allowance totalling £4,974 while failing to declare employment. She was given 120 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £52.

Annette Cusack (48) of Cliftondene Crescent, Belfast claimed Income Support and Housing Benefit totalling £6,886 while failing to declare employment.

She was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay court costs of £49.
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Frances Gregg (55) of Stratheden Street, Belfast claimed Income Support and Rates Relief totalling £5,086 while failing to declare capital.

She was given a 12-month probation order and ordered to pay court costs of £49.

Marie McCrudden (24) of Scotch Quarters, Belfast claimed Income Support totalling £4,707 while failing to declare employment. She was fined £250 and ordered to pay court costs of £37.

Darren McLernon (37) of Glenkeen Avenue, Belfast claimed Jobseekers Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £2,665 while failing to declare employment. She was fined £450 and ordered to pay court costs of £40.

Darren Kane (40) of Empire Street, Belfast was fined £200 and ordered to pay court costs of £22 for wrongful encashment of Incapacity Benefit totalling £179.

James Cameron (31) of Vicarage Street, Belfast was fined £250 and ordered to pay court costs of £22 for wrongful encashment of Incapacity Benefit totalling £102.

Mr Cameron has since repaid any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Social Security Agency but all the others are also required to repay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Social Security Agency.

(BMcC/GK)

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